Last summer a clever student asked me why so many horses seemed to experience discomfort at girthing? How come they made nasty faces, tried to nip, then walked out stiffly, or stayed tight in the back–particularly the young horses in canter? We have a gazillion saddle sizes to choose from, clean pads, no sores, and we are always very considerate about girthing slowly. Very frustrating.
My answer was far from satisfactory.
I did what we all do when we don’t really know, and said it was a problem, I was not sure of the answer.
Then I related that the so-called “cure” was that the horses had put up with it for years, and might well continue to do so–if they had enough grit. (Bad answer!)
And, that they were not allowed to actually bite us! (True, but has nothing to do with what they are saying.)
I elaborated what I felt at the time–that it was a major issue for almost all dressage horses, and largely unresolved.
Further, lots of marketers had tried lots of things that really didn’t seem to work.
And, like specialty saddles, (though to a smaller degree), one could spend a ton of money on the newest thing and then be left with a pile of equipment that functioned no better (and perhaps worse) than before.
So with a shrug I went on–though I know that was not right.
But that question also spawned an answer because it came to bother me that some of my favorite and very successful horses had been bothered by their girths.
That solution required a lot of purchasing of different girths and a lot of sending back those failed trials, getting closer, and then some new creations based on what we found. (We found there were some better than others, but the answer was not out there on the market for us to find.)
Now with a pile of experience–and a several thousand $$$ pile of trial girths that did not work as hoped–we have an answer.
So TM in place, Patent pending our next year’s final drawing, here it is–an opportunity to participate http://girthshield.wordpress.com/
This is anything but slick marketing, but that is not what we are about. You can check to see if we have anything ready made in your horse’s size: http://www.etsy.com/shop/GirthShield
And in another related post I have written the story about how we did it. It was not too hard–it just took a LOT of time. https://dressagesnob.wordpress.com/2013/07/16/we-figured-out-why-horses-dont-like-their-girths/